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France’s new patio heater ban: Can I still use one in my garden?

These heaters, often found on cafe or restaurant terraces, are no longer allowed in public settings as they are deemed to be too polluting

Polluting outdoor heaters are now banned in France due to the amount of carbon dioxide they create Pic: Bespaliy / Shutterstock

Reader question: Does the ban on outdoor patio heaters apply to heaters used on private home patios?

A new law banning the use of outdoor patio heaters - such as those you may find in an outdoor seating area at a restaurant - came into effect on March 31. 

It is aimed at reducing pollution. 

Read more: Polluting outdoor restaurant terrace heaters now banned in France

The law states that all systems used to heat or cool air on public terraces are prohibited, regardless of the type of energy used.

This ban applies strictly to public establishments.

To be clear, the use of heaters on private property is still allowed. 

Private campsites, restaurants with indoor terraces and, more generally, all private properties are not covered by this new regulation.

Only licensed, private establishments with a titre pour occuper le domaine public (droit de terrasse) are affected by the ban. 

There are some exceptions. For example, the owner of an establishment with the above mentioned licence can still use a heater or cooler in a covered, airtight area with “inherently rigid side walls”. 

The heaters can also still be used on a mobile unit, for example a burger van, which is being used for occasions such as fairgrounds or cultural events. 

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